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This paper explores whether mandating alternative dispute resolution (ADR), specifically in the form of early neutral evaluations (ENEs), actually improves efficiency in federal courts. This paper attempts to challenge and test the presumption that ADR inherently promotes efficiency in all civil cases. Part I introduces the reader to ENEs, ADR, their presence in federal courts, and efficiency’s role within this framework. Part II challenges the notion that ADR and efficiency are inherently linked, and asks whether mandating ENEs can prove if this inherent efficiency exists. Part III presents the legal theory that addresses this question, tending to support the notion that mandating ENEs would promote settlement and efficiency. Part IV presents the empirical research addressing this question, tending to show that there is no discernable increase in efficiency among federal courts that mandate ENEs. Part V attempts to reconcile the evidence and theory, and presents recommendations based on the findings.